A Washington state man allegedly killed a homeless man as “practice” for his ex-wife’s murder, prosecutors claim.
Nathan O. Beal, 36, is accused of fatally shooting Andrew Bull, 30, in the head in April 2020 — just months before his ex-wife, Mary Schaffer, 32, suffered the same fate in Browne’s Addition, The Spokesman-Review reported.
“We believe the killing was done by Mr. Beal as practice,” Spokane County Prosecutor Dale Nagy told the court Friday of Bull’s death.
Nagy alleged Beal told a jail informant that he killed Bull because he was “curious” and that it was for “practice,” the outlet reported.
Shell casings at both crime scenes confirmed that the same gun was used to Beal’s ex-wife, whose body was found outside a home where she was supposed to pick up their two children from him in August, prosecutors said.
Beal and his girlfriend allegedly purchased the handgun a few months before Bull’s shooting death. It was later recovered from his apartment, news station KREM reported.
He has been detained on a $1 million bond since September, when he was charged in his ex-wife’s murder.
Prosecutors argued on Friday that he should be tried for the two killings at once.
But Beal’s attorney, Stephanie Cady, argued that the jail informant is “very likely not a credible witness” because he has a “significant criminal history.”
Judge Michelle Szambelan ruled against combining the cases, saying that there wasn’t sufficient evidence that the motives of the two deaths were connected, the newspaper reported.
Beal’s is currently slated to go on trial for his ex-wife’s death on Oct. 4, the outlet reported.